Orange Branch Library

Orange Branch Manager

Ashley Mensah

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7171 Gooding Blvd.
Delaware, OH 43015

Operating Hours and Drive-up Window Pickup

  • Monday – Thursday: 10 a.m. – 7 p.m.
  • Friday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
  • Sunday: Closed
Drive-Up Window

Open during library hours

The Orange Branch Library has a drive-up book drop and drive-through pick-up window, along with many other sustainable building features. The building also houses our Community & Family Outreach Services Department and the Imagination Garden.

Imagination Garden

Delaware Library

Mythology -or- On the Origin of Stories

The Artist

My name is Dale Johnson. I am adept with the rigors of classical carving, sculpture, and architecture, but at the same time also practices painting, drawing, and sculpture as an independent Artist. I bring both a profound understanding of architectural classicism and contemporary fine Art and Design to every project. My ongoing relationships with institutions and municipalities, as well as contractors and home owners, have enabled me to maintain an independent career as an artist and stone carver since 1991. I am grateful to have had commissions that range from University projects, private architectural and sculptural commissions, to civic and ecclesiastical work. I try to live up to the skill standards established by my predecessors, while at the same time reflecting the technological and aesthetic demands of my own era. My work is a co-operative event between myself and my patron. I regard each new project as a gift, and am honored to be the artist chosen by each client that decides to put my hands and heart to work in their service.

The Story

On the front side, Cyclops, the blacksmith of the Greek Titans, brings creativity to the world, hammering and forging through the veil that separates the gods from humans. This blinds and mutes him. As he both pushes and pulls the veil away, a Sea Monster drawn from the maps of the Age of Exploration partially squeezes through–but only partially. The Sea Monster is one of three of the mythological creatures featured in the sculpture to exist in both the front and the back view. An arm reaches behind the veil and disappears. An Alien from outer space looks out inquisitively, free of the veil. Cerberus calmly and resignedly watches as a Mongolian Death Worm tries to sneak through from this side to the Other Side, blindly thrashing. The Spirits in the forest watch over and guard the Leprechauns lounging in the clearing and counting their gold.

On the back side, the arm is seen to be the gloved arm of Arthur, pulling Excalibur from the stone. In so doing, he releases Ulysses, weary from his odyssey. The Man in the Moon watches languidly over the scene as a screaming banshee rises from behind a tense and watchful Cerberus. A staircase descends into Cerberus’ chest and ends at a nearly closed door. The Alien seems to have turned his head in the stone and is still looking at the viewer, curiously. The Sea Monster is struggling to get all the way through to the Other Side, and a mischievous young Dionysus whispers secrets to the timeless and imperturbable head of an African Mask.

The Process

The Library asked me to create a sculpture for the new Reading Garden, giving me complete artistic freedom so long as I worked in my established style and material, limestone, and based my work on the theme “mythological creatures.” To prepare a sketch of my intent, I searched my bookshelf for a book that would serve as a model, eventually selecting a 1938 Harvard Classics edition of Elizabethan Drama, which contains plays by Christopher Marlowe and William Shakespeare. This book would provide the border detail and the binding structure of the piece, framing a mix of creatures drawn from imagination and fantasy.

The original block for the sculpture measured 12” x 6′-8 1/2” x 4′-9” and weighed 4,830 pounds when I picked it up from the quarry/fabricator in Ellettsville, Indiana (luckily, my forklift is rated for 5,000 pounds). It was not weighed after I carved it, but I estimate it to be about half its original weight. I picked it up in January of 2013 and began by carving the book shape and spine details with the slab lying flat on my workstands. After I had flipped it over and finished the details on both sides, I drew the main structure of the front view. The composition was a fast sketch, finished in minutes, but I had been thinking about it for weeks, and the main structure of the carving didn’t deviate from the composition so much as refine and clarify it. I knew I would be piercing the slab and carving fully through, but I chose to carve the vast majority of the front view while the slab was still flat so I could do as much of the work as possible at a comfortable working height. The negative space around the figure I pushed as close to through as I could without actually going through (so I wouldn’t bias the composition I was planning for the back view). In early April, I drilled the mounting holes in the bottom and stood the slab upright to begin working on the back side and the details of the front.

Mythology Creation Photoset.

Delaware Library

Mosaic Dragon

The Artists

My name is Lynda Elias and I have been a working artist and teacher for my entire adult life. Virginia Corwin has been a teacher and is now a working artist. We are Delaware Mosaics. After I create my plan or design, Virginia and I collect materials such as odd tiles and dishes and plan colors together and prepare materials by breaking or cutting them into usable pieces. I learned this mosaic technique, which is similar to doing a puzzle, from Isaiah Zagar, a Philadelphia artist who is known for his large-scale work on the sides of buildings. When I was teaching I couldn’t find an artist to help me create a permanent mosaic at Hayes High School in Delaware and took a workshop with Isaiah when I retired to learn his simplified mosaic technique. We have refined and improved this technique to accommodate children and adults without art experience. Since our first large-scale project on the back of the gallery and bookstore in Delaware, we have finished mosaics in schools, art centers and senior centers.

The Process

Orange Library asked us to create a sculpture using Mythical Creatures as a theme for their reading garden. My favorite creature being a dragon, I submitted sketches of a variety of creatures hoping the dragon would be chosen. We have always worked on flat surfaces and I needed a plan to make our dragon more sculptural. The dragon needed to show motion and I came up with the idea of using an accordion structure made from cement panels. The panels move up and back at different heights to create variety and movement. I created a maquette or model and worked with the library to create the structure. I painted the line drawing on the panels in spring and we began the mosaic on July 5th. Anyone can learn our technique and participate in the mosaic process. Volunteers of all ages helped glue the tiles and mirrors under our supervision. Virginia and I do all the grouting but volunteers enjoyed cleaning and polishing the tiles with socks and rags. This group activity allows everyone to feel good by having a part in the creative process.

We open doors to imagination, knowledge, connection, and discovery.